HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES
THOMPSON & THOMAS, CHICAGO.
J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY.
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Facts in a nude state are not liable criminally, any more than bright and beautiful children commit a felony by being born thus; but it is the solemn duty of those having these children in charge to put appropriate, healthful, and even attractive apparel upon them at the earliest possible moment.
It is thus with facts. They are the frame-work of history, not the drapery. They are like the cold, hard, dishevelled, damp, and uncomfortable body under the knife of the demonstrator, not the bright and bounding boy, clothed in graceful garments and filled to every tingling capillary with a soul.
We, each of us, the artist and the author, respect facts. We have never, either of us, said an unkind word regarding facts. But we believe that they should not be placed before the public exactly as they were born. We want to see them embellished and beautified. That is why this history is written.
Certain facts have come into the possession of the artist and author of this book regarding the history of the Republic down to the present day. We find, upon looking over the records and documents on file in the various archives of state and nation, that they are absolutely beyond question, and it is our object to give these truthfully. These rough and untidy, but impregnable truths, dressed in the sweet persuasive language of the author, and fluted, embossed, embroidered, and embellished by the skilful hand of the artist, are now before you.
History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished, and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs.
If we succeed in this way, and administer historical truth in the smooth capsule of the cartoonist and the commentator, we are content. If not, we know whose fault it will be, but will not get mad and swear about it.
FRED'K B. OPPER.
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CHAPTER I. PAGE
THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA 13
OTHER DISCOVERIES—WET AND DRY 23
THE THIRTEEN ORIGINAL COLONIES 36
THE PLYMOUTH COLONY 47
DRAWBACKS OF BEING A COLONIST 55
THE EPISODE OF THE CHARTER OAK 62
THE DISCOVERY OF NEW YORK 72
THE DUTCH AT NEW AMSTERDAM 82
SETTLEMENT OF THE MIDDLE STATES 92
THE EARLY ARISTOCRACY 102
INTERCOLONIAL AND INDIAN WARS 110
PERSONALITY OF WASHINGTON 124
CONTRASTS WITH THE PRESENT DAY 131
THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR 142
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, LL.D., PHG, F.R.S., ETC. 152
THE CRITICAL PERIOD 160
THE BEGINNING OF THE END 170
CHAPTER XVIII. PAGE
THE CLOSE OF THE REVOLUTION 181
THE FIRST PRESIDENT 191
THE WAR WITH CANADA 203
THE ADVANCE OF THE REPUBLIC 212
MORE DIFFICULTIES STRAIGHTENED OUT 222
THE WEBSTERS 233
BEFO' THE WAH—CAUSES WHICH LED TO IT—MASTERLY GRASP OF THE SUBJECT SHOWN BY THE AUTHOR 243
BULL RUN AND OTHER BATTLES 252
SOME MORE FRATRICIDAL STRIFE 263
STILL MORE FRATERNAL BLOODSHED, ON PRINCIPLE—OUTING FEATURES DISAPPEAR, AND GIVE PLACE TO STRAINED RELATIONS BETWEEN COMBATANTS, WHO BEGIN TO MIX THINGS 274
LAST YEAR OF THE DISAGREEABLE WAR 284
TOO MUCH LIBERTY IN PLACES AND NOT ENOUGH ELSEWHERE.—THOUGHTS ON THE LATE WAR—WHO IS THE BIGGER ASS, THE MAN WHO WILL NOT FORGIVE AND FORGET, OR THE MAWKISH AND MOIST EYED SNIVELLER WHO WANTS TO DO THAT ALL THE TIME? 297
RECONSTRUCTION WITHOUT PAIN—ADMINISTRATIONS OF JOHNSON AND GRANT 305
CLOSING CHRONICLES 317
THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.
It was a beautiful evening at the close of a warm, luscious day in old Spain. It was such an evening as one would select for trysting purposes. The honeysuckle gave out the sweet announcement of its arrival on the summer breeze, and the bulbul sang in the dark vistas of olive-trees,—sang of his love and his hope, and of the victory he anticipated in the morrow's bulbul-fight, and the plaudits of the royal couple who would be there. The pink west paled away to the touch of twilight, and the soft zenith was sown with stars coming like celestial fire-flies on the breast of a mighty meadow.
Across the dusk, with bowed head, came a woman. Her air was one of proud humility. It was the air of royalty in the presence of an overruling power. It was Isabella. She was on her way to confession. She carried a large, beautifully-bound volume containing a memorandum of her sins for the day. Ever and anon she would refer to it, but the twilight had come on so fast that she could not read it.
Reaching the confessional, she kneeled, and, by the aid of her notes, she told off to the good Father and receptacle of the queen's trifling sins, Fernando de Talavera, how wicked she had been. When it was over and the queen had risen to go, Fernando came forth, and with a solemn obeisance said,—
"May it please your Majesty, I have to-day received a letter from my good friend the prior of the Franciscan convent of St. Mary's of Rabida in Andalusia. With your Majesty's permission, I will read it to you."
"Proceed," exclaimed Isabella, gravely, taking a piece of crochet-work from her apron and seating herself comfortably near the dim light.
"It is dated the sixth month and tenth day of the month, and reads as follows:
"This letter will be conveyed unto your hands by the bearer hereof. His name is Christopher Columbus, a native of Genoa, who has been living on me for two years. But he is a good man, devout and honest. He is willing to work, but I have nothing to do in his line. Times, as you know, are dull, and in his own profession nothing seems to be doing.
"He is by profession a discoverer. He has been successful in the work where he has had opportunities, and there has been no complaint so far on the part of those who have employed him. Everything he has ever discovered has remained that way, so he is willing to let his work show for itself.
"Should you be able to bring this to the notice of her Majesty, who is tender of heart, I would be most glad; and should her most gracious Majesty have any discovering to be done, or should she contemplate a change or desire to substitute another in the place of the present discoverer, she will do well to consider the qualifications of my friend.
"Very sincerely and fraternally thine,
The queen inquired still further regarding Columbus, and, taking the letter, asked Talavera to send him to the royal sitting-room at ten o'clock the following day.
When Columbus arose the next morning he found a note from the royal confessor, and, without waiting for breakfast, for he had almost overcome the habit of eating, he reversed his cuffs, and, taking a fresh handkerchief from his valise and putting it in his pocket so that the corners would coyly stick out a little, he was soon on his way to the palace. He carried also a small globe wrapped up in a newspaper.
The interview was encouraging until the matter of money necessary for the trip was touched upon. His Majesty was called in, and spoke sadly of the public surplus. He said that there were one hundred dollars still due on his own salary, and the palace had not been painted for eight years. He had taken orders on the store till he was tired of it. "Our meat bill," said he, taking off his crown and mashing a hornet on the wall, "is sixty days overdue. We owe the hired girl for three weeks; and how are we going to get funds enough to do any discovering, when you remember that we have got to pay for an extra session this fall for the purpose of making money plenty?"
But Isabella came and sat by him in her winning way, and with the moistened corner of her handkerchief removed a spot of maple syrup from the ermine trimming of his reigning gown. She patted his hand, and, with her gentle voice, cheered him and told him that if he would economize and go without cigars or wine, in less than two hundred years he would have saved enough to fit Columbus out.
A few weeks later he had saved one hundred and fifty dollars in this way. The queen then went at twilight and pawned a large breastpin, and, although her chest was very sensitive to cold, she went without it all the following winter, in order that Columbus might discover America before immigration set in here.
Too much cannot be said of the heroism of Queen Isabella and the courage of her convictions. A man would have said, under such circumstances, that there would be no sense in discovering a place that was not popular. Why discover a place when it is so far out of the way? Why discover a country with no improvements? Why discover a country that is so far from the railroad? Why discover, at great expense, an entirely new country?
But Isabella did not stop to listen to these croaks. In the language of the Honorable Jeremiah M. Rusk, "She seen her duty and she done it." That was Isabella's style.
Columbus now began to select steamer-chairs and rugs. He had already secured the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria, and on the 3d of August, 1492, he sailed from Palos.
Isabella brought him a large bunch of beautiful flowers as he was about to sail, and Ferdinand gave him a nice yachting-cap and a spicy French novel to read on the road.
He was given a commission as viceroy or governor of all the lands he might discover, with hunting and shooting privileges on same.
He stopped several weeks at the Canary Islands, where he and his one hundred and twenty men rested and got fresh water. He then set out sailing due west over an unknown sea to blaze the way for liberty.
Soon, however, his men began to murmur. They began also to pick on Columbus and occupy his steamer-chair when he wanted to use it himself. They got to making chalk-marks on the deck and compelling him to pay a shilling before he could cross them. Some claimed that they were lost and that they had been sailing around for over a week in a circle, one man stating that he recognized a spot in the sea that they had passed eight times already.
Finally they mutinied, and started to throw the great navigator overboard, but he told them that if they would wait until the next morning he would tell them a highly amusing story that he heard just before he left Palos.
Thus his life was saved, for early in the morning the cry of "Land ho!" was heard, and America was discovered.
A saloon was at once started, and the first step thus taken towards the foundation of a republic. From that one little timid saloon, with its family entrance, has sprung the magnificent and majestic machine which, lubricated with spoils and driven by wind, gives to every American to-day the right to live under a Government selected for him by men who make that their business.
Columbus discovered America several times after the 12th of October, 1492, and finally, while prowling about looking for more islands, discovered South America near the mouth of the Orinoco.
He was succeeded as governor by Francisco de Bobadilla, who sent him back finally in chains. Thus we see that the great are not always happy. There is no doubt that millions of people every year avoid many discomforts by remaining in obscurity.
The life of Columbus has been written by hundreds of men, both in this country and abroad, but the foregoing facts are distilled from this great biographical mass by skilful hands, and, like the succeeding pages, will stand for centuries unshaken by the bombardment of the critic, while succeeding years shall try them with frost and thaw, and the tide of time dash high against their massive front, only to recede, quelled and defeated.
[Footnote 1: The author acknowledges especially the courtesy of San Diego Colon Columbus, a son of the great navigator, whose book "Historiadores Primitivos" was so generously loaned the author by relatives of young Columbus.
I have refrained from announcing in the foregoing chapter the death of Columbus, which occurred May 20, 1506, at Valladolid, the funeral taking place from his late residence, because I dislike to give needless pain.
OTHER DISCOVERIES—WET AND DRY.
America had many other discoverers besides Columbus, but he seems to have made more satisfactory arrangements with the historians than any of the others. He had genius, and was also a married man. He was a good after-dinner speaker, and was first to use the egg trick, which so many after-dinner speakers have since wished they had thought of before Chris did.
In falsifying the log-book in order to make his sailors believe that they had not sailed so far as they had, Columbus did a wrong act, unworthy of his high notions regarding the pious discovery of this land. The artist has shown here not only one of the most faithful portraits of Columbus and his crooked log-book, but the punishment which he should have received.
The man on the left is Columbus; History is concealed just around the corner in a loose wrapper.
Spain at this time regarded the new land as a vast jewelry store in charge of simple children of the forest who did not know the value of their rich agricultural lands or gold-ribbed farms. Spain, therefore, expected to exchange bone collar-buttons with the children of the forest for opals as large as lima beans, and to trade fiery liquids to them for large gold bricks.
The Montezumas were compelled every little while to pay a freight-bill for the Spanish confidence man.
Ponce de Leon had started out in search of the Hot Springs of Arkansas, and in 1512 came in sight of Florida. He was not successful in his attempt to find the Fountain of Youth, and returned an old man so deaf that in the language of the Hoosier poet referring to his grandfather,—
"So remarkably deaf was my grandfather Squeers That he had to wear lightning-rods over his ears To even hear thunder, and oftentimes then He was forced to request it to thunder again."
Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Darien, and, rolling up his pantalettes, waded into the Pacific Ocean and discovered it in the name of Spain. It was one of the largest and wettest discoveries ever made, and, though this occurred over three centuries ago, Spain is still poor.
Balboa, in discovering the Pacific, did so according to the Spanish custom of discovery, viz., by wading into it with his naked sword in one hand and the banner of Castile, sometimes called Castile's hope (see Appendix), in the other. He and his followers waded out so as to discover all they could, and were surprised to discover what is now called the undertow.
The artist has shown the great discoverer most truthfully as he appeared after he had discovered and filed on the ocean. No one can look upon this picture for a moment and confuse Balboa, the discoverer of the Pacific, with Kope Elias, who first discovered in the mountains of North Carolina what is now known as moonshine whiskey.
De Narvaez in 1528 undertook to conquer Florida with three hundred hands. He also pulled considerable grass in his search for gold. Finally he got to the gulf and was wrecked. They were all related mostly to Narvaez, and for two weeks they lived on their relatives, but later struck shore—four of them—and lived more on a vegetable diet after that till they struck the Pacific Ocean, which now belonged to Spain.
De Soto also undertook the conquest of Florida after this, and took six hundred men with him for the purpose. They wandered through the Gulf States to the Mississippi, enduring much, and often forced to occupy the same room at night. De Soto in 1541 discovered the Mississippi River, thus adding to the moisture collection of Spain.
After trying to mortgage his discovery to Eastern capitalists, he died, and was buried in the quiet bosom of the Great Father of waters.
Thus once more the list of fatalities was added to and the hunger for gold was made to contribute a discovery.
Menendez later on founded in 1565 the colony of St. Augustine, the oldest town in the United States. There are other towns that look older, but it is on account of dissipation. New York looks older, but it is because she always sat up later of nights than St. Augustine did.
Cortez was one of the coarsest men who visited this country. He did not marry any wealthy American girls, for there were none, but he did everything else that was wrong, and his unpaid laundry-bills are still found all over the Spanish-speaking countries. He was especially lawless and cruel to the Peruvians: "recognizing the Peruvian at once by his bark," he would treat him with great indignity, instead of using other things which he had with him. Cortez had a way of capturing the most popular man in a city, and then he would call on the tax-payers to redeem him on the instalment plan. Most everybody hated Cortez, and when he held religious services the neighbors did not attend. The religious efforts made by Cortez were not successful. He killed a great many people, but converted but few.
The historian desires at this time to speak briefly of the methods of Cortez from a commercial stand-point.
Will the reader be good enough to cast his eye on the Cortez securities as shown in the picture drawn from memory by an artist yet a perfect gentleman?
Notice the bonds Nos. 18 and 27. Do you notice the listening attitude of No. 18? He is listening to the accumulating interest. Note the aged and haggard look of No. 27. He has just begun to notice that he is maturing.
Cast your eye on the prone form of No. 31. He has just fallen due, and in doing so has hurt his crazy-bone (see Appendix).
Be good enough to study the gold-bearing bond behind the screen. See the look of anguish. Some one has cut off a coupon probably. Cortez was that kind of a man. He would clip the ear of an Inca and make him scream with pain, so that his friends would come in and redeem him. Once the bank examiner came to examine the Cortez bank. He imparted a pleasing flavor on the following day to the soup.
Spain owned at the close of the sixteenth century the West Indies, Yucatan, Mexico, and Florida, besides unlimited water facilities and the Peruvian preserves.
North Carolina was discovered by the French navigator Verrazani, thirty years later than Cabot did, but as Cabot did not record his claim at the court-house in Wilmington the Frenchman jumped the claim in 1524, and the property remained about the same till again discovered by George W. Vanderbilt in the latter part of the present century.
Montreal was discovered in 1535 by Cartier, also a Frenchman.
Ribaut discovered South Carolina, and left thirty men to hold it. They were at that time the only white men from-Mexico to the North Pole, and a keen business man could have bought the whole thing, Indians and all, for a good team and a jug of nepenthe. But why repine?
The Jesuit missionaries about the middle of the seventeenth century pushed their way to the North Mississippi and sought to convert the Indians. The Jesuits deserve great credit for their patience, endurance, and industry, but they were shocked to find the Indian averse to work. They also advanced slowly in church work, and would often avoid early mass that they might catch a mess of trout or violate the game law by killing a Dakotah in May.
Father Marquette discovered the Upper Mississippi not far from a large piece of suburban property owned by the author, north of Minneapolis. The ground has not been disturbed since discovered by Father Marquette.
The English also discovered America from time to time, the Cabots finding Labrador while endeavoring to go to Asia via the North, and Frobisher discovered Baffin Bay in 1576 while on a like mission. The Spanish discovered the water mostly, and England the ice belonging to North America.
Sir Francis Drake also discovered the Pacific Ocean, and afterward sailed an English ship on its waters, discovering Oregon.
Sir Walter Raleigh, with the endorsement of his half-brother, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, regarding the idea of colonization of America, and being a great friend of Queen Elizabeth, got out a patent on Virginia.
He planted a colony and a patch of tobacco on Roanoke Island, but the colonists did not care for agriculture, preferring to hunt for gold and pearls. In this way they soon ran out of food, and were constantly harassed by Indians.
It was an odd sight to witness a colonist coming home after a long hard day hunting for pearls as he asked his wife if she would be good enough to pull an arrow out of some place which he could not reach himself.
Raleigh spent two hundred thousand dollars in his efforts to colonize Virginia, and then, disgusted, divided up his patent and sold county rights to it at a pound apiece. This was in 1589. Raleigh learned the use of smoking tobacco at this time.
He was astonished when he tried it first, and threatened to change his boarding-place or take his meals out, but soon enjoyed it, and before he had been home a week Queen Elizabeth thought it to be an excellent thing for her house plants. It is now extensively used in the best narcotic circles.
Several other efforts were made by the English to establish colonies in this country, but the Indians thought that these English people bathed too much, and invited perspiration between baths.
One can see readily that the Englishman with his portable bath-tub has been a flag of defiance from the earliest discoveries till this day.
This chapter brings us to the time when settlements were made as follows:
The French at Port Royal, N.S., 1605. The English at Jamestown 1607. The French at Quebec 1608. The Dutch at New York 1613. The English at Plymouth 1620.
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The author's thanks are due to the following books of reference, which, added to his retentive memory, have made the foregoing statements accurate yet pleasing:
A Summer in England with H. W. Beecher. By J. B. Reed.
Russell's Digest of the Laws of Minnesota, with Price-List of Members.
Out-Door and Bug Life in America. By Chilblainy, Chief of the Umatilla.
Why I am an Indian. By S. Bull. With Notes by Ole Bull and Introduction by John Bull.
THE THIRTEEN ORIGINAL COLONIES.
This chapter is given up almost wholly to facts. It deals largely with the beginning of the thirteen original colonies from which sprang the Republic, the operation of which now gives so many thousands of men in-door employment four years at a time, thus relieving the penitentiaries and throwing more kindergarten statesmen to the front.
It was during this epoch that the Cavaliers landed in Virginia and the Puritans in Massachusetts; the latter lived on maple sugar and armed prayer, while the former saluted his cow, and, with bared head, milked her with his hat in one hand and his life in the other.
Immigration now began to increase along the coast. The Mayflower began to bring over vast quantities of antique furniture, mostly hall-clocks for future sales. Hanging them on spars and masts during rough weather easily accounts for the fact that none of them have ever been known to go.
The Puritans now began to barter with the Indians, swapping square black bottles of liquid hell for farms in Massachusetts and additions to log towns. Dried apples and schools began to make their appearance. The low retreating forehead of the codfish began to be seen at the stores, and virtue began to break out among the Indians after death.
Virginia, however, deserves mention here on the start. This colony was poorly prepared to tote wood and sleep out-of-doors, as the people were all gents by birth. They had no families, but came to Virginia to obtain fortunes and return to the city of New York in September. The climate was unhealthy, and before the first autumn, says Sir William Kronk, from whom I quote, "ye greater numberr of them hade perished of a great Miserrie in the Side and for lacke of Food, for at thatte time the Crosse betweene the wilde hyena and the common hogge of the Holy Lande, and since called the Razor Backe Hogge, had not been made, and so many of the courtiers dyede."
John Smith saved the colony. He was one of the best Smiths that ever came to this country, which is as large an encomium as a man cares to travel with. He would have saved the life of Pocahontas, an Indian girl who also belonged to the gentry of their tribe, but she saw at once that it would be a point for her to save him, so after a month's rehearsal with her father as villain, with Smith's part taken by a chunk of blue-gum wood, they succeeded in getting this little curtain-raiser to perfection.
Pocahontas was afterwards married, if the author's memory does not fail him, to John Rolfe. Pocahontas was not beautiful, but many good people sprang from her. She never touched them. Her husband sprang from her also just in time. The way she jumped from a clay-eating crowd into the bosom of the English aristocracy by this dramatic ruse was worthy of a greater recognition than merely to figure among the makers of smoking-tobacco with fancy wrappers, when she never had a fancy wrapper in her life.
Smith was captured once by the Indians, and, instead of telling them that he was by birth a gent, he gave them a course of lectures on the use of the compass and how to learn where one is at. Thus one after another the Indians went away. I often wonder why the lecture is not used more as a means of escape from hostile people.
By writing a letter and getting a reply to it, he made another hit. He now became a great man among the Indians; and to kill a dog and fail to invite Smith to the symposium was considered as vulgar as it is now to rest the arctic overshoe on the corner of the dining-table while buckling or unbuckling it.
Afterward Smith fell into the hands of Powhatan, the Croker of his time, and narrowly saved his life, as we have seen, through the intervention of Pocahontas.
Smith was now required in England to preside at a dinner given by the Savage Club, and to tell a few stories of life in the Far West.
While he was gone the settlement became a prey to disease and famine. Some were killed by the Indians while returning from their club at evening; some became pirates.
The colony decreased from four hundred and ninety to sixty people, and at last it was moved and seconded that they do now adjourn. They started away from Jamestown without a tear, or hardly anything else, having experienced a very dull time there, funerals being the only relaxation whatever.
But moving down the bay they met Lord Delaware, the new Governor, with a lot of Christmas-presents and groceries. Jamestown was once more saved, though property still continued low. The company, by the terms of its new charter, became a self-governing institution, and London was only too tickled to get out of the responsibility. It is said that the only genuine humor up to that time heard in London was spent on the jays of Jamestown and the Virginia colony.
Where is that laughter now? Where are the gibes and bon-mots made at that sad time?
They are gone.
All over that little republic, so begun in sorrow and travail, there came in after-years the dimples and the smiles of the prosperous child who would one day rise in the lap of the mother-country, and, asserting its rights by means of Patrick O'Fallen Henry and others, place a large and disagreeable fire-cracker under the nose of royalty, that, busting the awful stillness, should jar the empires of earth, and blow the unblown noses of future kings and princes. (This is taken bodily from a speech made by me July 4, 1777, when I was young.—THE AUTHOR.)
Pocahontas was married in 1613. She was baptized the day before. Whoever thought of that was a bright and thoughtful thinker. She stood the wear and tear of civilization for three years, and then died, leaving an infant son, who has since grown up.
The colony now prospered. All freemen had the right to vote. Religious toleration was enjoyed first-rate, and, there being no negro slavery, Virginia bade fair to be the republic of the continent. But in 1619 the captain of a Dutch trading-vessel sold to the colonists twenty negroes. The negroes were mostly married people, and in some instances children were born to them. This peculiarity still shows itself among the negroes, and now all over the South one hardly crosses a county without seeing a negro or a person with negro blood in his or her veins.
After the death of Powhatan, the friend of the English, an organized attempt was made by the Indians to exterminate the white people and charge more for water frontage the next time any colonists came.
March 22, 1622, was the day set, and many of the Indians were eating at the tables of those they had sworn to kill. It was a solemn moment. The surprise was to take place between the cold beans and the chili sauce.
But a converted Indian told quite a number, and as the cold beans were passed, the effect of some arsenic that had been eaten with the slim-neck clams began to be seen, and before the beans had gone half-way round the board the children of the forest were seen to excuse themselves, and thus avoid dying in the house.
Yet there were over three hundred and fifty white people massacred, and there followed another, reducing the colonists from four thousand to two thousand five hundred, then a massacre of five hundred, and so on, a sickening record of death and horror, even worse, before a great nation could get a foothold in this wild and savage land; even a toe-hold, as I may say, in the sands of time.
July 30, 1619, the first sprout of Freedom poked its head from the soil of Jamestown when Governor Yeardley stated that the colony "should have a handle in governing itself." He then called at Jamestown the first legislative body ever assembled in America; most of the members whereof boarded at the Planters' House during the session. (For sample of legislator see picture.) This body could pass laws, but they must be ratified by the company in England. The orders from London were not binding unless ratified by this Colonial Assembly.
This was a mutual arrangement reminding one of the fearful yet mutual apprehension spoken of by the poet when he says,—
"Jim Darling didn't know but his father was dead, And his father didn't know but Jim Darling was dead."
The colony now began to prosper; men held their lands in severalty, and taxes were low. The railroad had not then brought in new styles in clothing and made people unhappy by creating jealousy.
Settlements joined each other along the James for one hundred and forty miles, and the colonists first demonstrated how easily they could get along without the New York papers.
Tobacco began to be a very valuable crop, and at one time even the streets were used for its cultivation. Tobacco now proceeded to become a curse to the civilized world.
In 1624, King James, fearing that the infant colony would go Democratic, appointed a rump governor.
The oppression of the English parliament now began to be felt. The colonists were obliged to ship their products to England and to use only English vessels. The Assembly, largely royalists, refused to go out when their terms of office expired, paid themselves at the rate of about thirty-six dollars per day as money is now, and, in fact, acted like members of the Legislature generally.
In 1676, one hundred years before the Colonies declared themselves free and independent, a rebellion, under the management of a bright young attorney named Bacon, visited Jamestown and burned the American metropolis, after which Governor Berkeley was driven out. Bacon died just as his rebellion was beginning to pay, and the people dispersed. Berkeley then took control, and killed so many rebels that Mrs. Berkeley had to do her own work, and Berkeley, who had no one left to help him but his friends, had to stack his own grain that fall and do the chores at the barn.
Jamestown is now no more. It was succeeded in 1885 by Jamestown, North Dakota, now called Jimtown, a prosperous place in the rich farming-lands of that State.
Jamestown the first, the scene of so many sorrows and little jealousies, so many midnight Indian attacks and bilious attacks by day, became a solemn ruin, and a few shattered tombstones, over which the jimson-weed and the wild vines clamber, show to the curious traveller the place where civilization first sought to establish itself on the James River, U.S.A.
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The author wishes to refer with great gratitude to information contained in the foregoing chapter and obtained from the following works:
The Indian and other Animalcula. By N. K. Boswell, Laramie City, Wyoming.
How to Jolly the Red Man out of his Lands. By Ernest Smith.
The Female Red Man and her Pure Life. By Johnson Sides, Reno, Nevada (P.M. please forward if out on war-path).
The Crow Indian and His Caws. By Me.
Massacre Etiquette. By Wad. McSwalloper, 82 McDougall St., New York.
Where is my Indian to night? By a half-bred lady of Winnipeg.
THE PLYMOUTH COLONY.
In the fall of 1620 the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth during a disagreeable storm, and, noting the excellent opportunity for future misery, began to erect a number of rude cabins. This party consisted of one hundred and two people of a resolute character who wished to worship God in a more extemporaneous manner than had been the custom in the Church of England.
They found that the Indians of Cape Cod were not ritualistic, and that they were willing to dispose of inside lots at Plymouth on reasonable terms, retaining, however, the right to use the lands for massacre purposes from time to time.
The Pilgrims were honest, and gave the Indians something for their land in almost every instance, but they put a price upon it which has made the Indian ever since a comparatively poor man.
Half of this devoted band died before spring, and yet the idea of returning to England did not occur to them. "No," they exclaimed, "we will not go back to London until we can go first-class, if we have to stay here two hundred years."
During the winter they discovered why the lands had been sold to them so low. The Indians of one tribe had died there of a pestilence the year before, and so when the Pilgrims began to talk trade they did not haggle over prices.
In the early spring, however, they were surprised to hear the word "Welcome" proceeding from the door-mat of Samoset, an Indian whose chief was named Massasoit. A treaty was then made for fifty years, Massasoit taking "the same."
Canonicus once sent to Governor Bradford a bundle of arrows tied up in a rattlesnake's skin. The Governor put them away in the pantry with his other curios, and sent Canonicus a few bright new bullets and a little dose of powder. That closed the correspondence. In those days there were no newspapers, and most of the fighting was done without a guarantee or side bets.
Money-matters; however, were rather panicky at the time, and the people were kept busy digging clams to sustain life in order to raise Indian corn enough to give them sufficient strength to pull clams enough the following winter to get them through till the next corn crop should give them strength to dig for clams again. Thus a trip to London and the Isle of Wight looked farther and farther away.
After four years they numbered only one hundred and eighty-four, counting immigration and all. The colony only needed, however, more people and Eastern capital.
It would be well to pause here and remember the annoyances connected with life as a forefather. Possibly the reader has considered the matter already. Imagine how nervous one may be waiting in the hall and watching with a keen glance for the approach of the physician who is to announce that one is a forefather. The amateur forefather of 1620 must have felt proud yet anxious about the clam-yield also, as each new mouth opened on the prospect.
Speaking of clams, it is said by some of the forefathers that the Cape Cod menu did not go beyond codfish croquettes until the beginning of the seventeenth century, when pie was added by act of legislature.
Clams are not so restless if eaten without the brisket, which is said to lie hard on the stomach.
Salem and Charlestown were started by Governor Endicott, and Boston was founded in 1630. To these various towns the Puritans flocked, and even now one may be seen in ghostly garments on Thanksgiving Eve flitting here and there turning off the gas in the parlor while the family are at tea, in order to cut down expenses.
Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies were united in 1692.
Roger Williams, a bright young divine, was the first to interfere with the belief that magistrates had the right to punish Sabbath-breakers, blasphemers, etc. He also was the first to utter the idea that a man's own conscience must be his own guide and not that of another.
Among the Puritans there were several who had enlarged consciences, and who desired to take in extra work for others who had no consciences and were busy in the fields. They were always ready to give sixteen ounces to the pound, and were honest, but they got very little rest on Sunday, because they had to watch the Sabbath-breaker all the time.
The method of punishment for some offences is given here.
Does the man look cheerful? No. No one looks cheerful. Even the little boys look sad. It is said that the Puritans knocked what fun there was out of the Indian. Did any one ever see an Indian smile since the landing of the Pilgrims?
Roger Williams was too liberal to be kindly received by the clergy, and so he was driven out of the settlement. Finding that the Indians were less rigid and kept open on Sundays, he took refuge among them (1636), and before spring had gained eighteen pounds and converted Canonicus, one of the hardest cases in New England and the first man to sit up till after ten o'clock at night. Canonicus gave Roger the tract of land on which Providence now stands.
Mrs. Anne Hutchinson gave the Pilgrims trouble also. Having claimed some special revelations and attempted to make a few remarks regarding them, she was banished.
Banishment, which meant a homeless life in a wild land, with no one but the Indians to associate with, in those days, was especially annoying to a good Christian woman, and yet it had its good points. It offered a little religious freedom, which could not be had among those who wanted it so much that they braved the billow and the wild beast, the savage, the drouth, the flood, and the potato-bug, to obtain it before anybody else got a chance at it. Freedom is a good thing.
Twenty years later the Quakers shocked every one by thinking a few religious thoughts on their own hooks. The colonists executed four of them, and before that tortured them at a great rate.
During dull times and on rainy days it was a question among the Puritans whether they would banish an old lady, bore holes with a red-hot iron through a Quaker's tongue, or pitch horse-shoes.
In 1643 the "United Colonies of New England" was the name of a league formed by the people for protection against the Indians.
King Philip's war followed.
Massasoit was during his lifetime a friend to the poor whites of Plymouth, as Powhatan had been of those at Jamestown, but these two great chiefs were succeeded by a low set of Indians, who showed as little refinement as one could well imagine.
Some of the sufferings of the Pilgrims at the time are depicted on the preceding pages by the artist, also a few they escaped.
Looking over the lives of our forefathers who came from England, I am not surprised that, with all the English people who have recently come to this country, I have never seen a forefather.
[Footnote 2: See Dr. Dunn's Family Physician and Horse Doctor.]
DRAWBACKS OF BEING A COLONIST.
It was at this period in the history of our country that the colonists found themselves not only banished from all civilization, but compelled to fight an armed foe whose trade was war and whose music was the dying wail of a tortured enemy. Unhampered by the exhausting efforts of industry, the Indian, trained by centuries of war upon adjoining tribes, felt himself foot-loose and free to shoot the unprotected forefather from behind the very stump fence his victim had worked so hard to erect.
King Philip, a demonetized sovereign, organized his red troops, and, carrying no haversacks, knapsacks, or artillery, fell upon the colonists and killed them, only to reappear at some remote point while the dead and wounded who fell at the first point were being buried or cared for by rude physicians.
What an era in the history of a country! Gentlewomen whose homes had been in the peaceful hamlets of England lived and died in the face of a cruel foe, yet prepared the cloth and clothing for their families, fed them, and taught them to look to God in all times of trouble, to be prayerful in their daily lives, yet vigilant and ready to deal death to the general enemy. They were the mothers whose sons and grandsons laid the huge foundations of a great nation and cemented them with their blood.
At this time there was a line of battle three hundred miles in length. On one side the white man went armed to the field or the prayer-meeting, shooting an Indian on sight as he would a panther; on the other, a foe whose wife did the chores and hoed the scattering crops while he made war and extermination his joy by night and his prayer and life-long purpose by day.
Finally, however, the victory came sluggishly to the brave and deserving. One thousand Indians were killed at one pop, and their wigwams were burned. All their furniture and curios were burned in their wigwams, and some of their valuable dogs were holocausted. King Philip was shot by a follower as he was looking under the throne for something, and peace was for the time declared.
About 1684 the Colony of Massachusetts, which had dared to open up a trade with the West Indies, using its own vessels for that purpose, was hauled over the coals by the mother-country for violation of the Navigation Act, and an officer sent over to enforce the latter. The colonists defied him, and when he was speaking to them publicly in a tone of reprimand, he got an ovation in the way of eggs and codfish, both of which had been set aside for that purpose when the country was new, and therefore had an air of antiquity which cannot be successfully imitated.
As a result, the Colony was made a royal appendage, and Sir Edmund Andros, a political hack under James II., was made Governor of New England. He reigned under great difficulties for three years, and then suddenly found himself in jail. The jail was so arranged that he could not get out, and so the Puritans now quietly resumed their old form of government.
This continued also for three years, when Sir William Phipps became Governor under the crown, with one hundred and twenty pounds per annum and house-rent.
From this on to the Revolution, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nova Scotia became a royal province. Nova Scotia is that way yet, and has to go to Boston for her groceries.
The year 1692 is noted mostly for the Salem excitement regarding witchcraft. The children of Rev. Mr. Parris were attacked with some peculiar disease which would not yield to the soothing blisters and bleedings administered by the physicians of the old school, and so, not knowing exactly what to do about it, the doctors concluded that they were bewitched. Then it was, of course, the duty of the courts and selectmen to hunt up the witches. This was naturally difficult.
Fifty-five persons were tortured and twenty were hanged for being witches; which proves that the people of Salem were fully abreast of the Indians in intelligence, and that their gospel privileges had not given their charity and Christian love such a boom as they should have done.
One can hardly be found now, even in Salem, who believes in witchcraft; though the Cape Cod people, it is said, still spit on their bait. The belief in witchcraft in those days was not confined by any means to the colonists. Sir Matthew Hale of England, one of the most enlightened judges of the mother-country, condemned a number of people for the offence, and is now engaged in doing road-work on the streets of the New Jerusalem as a punishment for these acts done while on the woolsack.
Blackstone himself, one of the dullest authors ever read by the writer of these lines, yet a skilled jurist, with a marvellous memory regarding Justinian, said that, to deny witchcraft was to deny revelation.
"Be you a witch?" asked one of the judges of Massachusetts, according to the records now on file in the State-House at Boston.
"No, your honor," was the reply.
"Officer," said the court, taking a pinch of snuff, "take her out on the tennis-grounds and pull out her toe-nails with a pair of hot pincers, and then see what she says."
It was quite common to examine lady witches in the regular court and then adjourn to the tennis-court. A great many were ducked by order of the court and hanged up by the thumbs, in obedience to the customs of these people who came to America because they were persecuted.
Human nature is the same even to this day. The writer grew up with an Irishman who believed that when a man got wealthy enough to keep a carriage and coachman he ought to be assassinated and all his goods given to the poor. He now hires a coachman himself, having succeeded in New York city as a policeman; but the man who comes to assassinate him will find it almost impossible to obtain an audience with him.
If you wish to educate a man to be a successful oppressor, with a genius for introducing new horrors and novelties in pain, oppress him early in life and don't give him any reason for doing so. The idea that "God is love" was not popular in those days. The early settlers were so stern even with their own children that if the Indian had not given the forefather something to attract his attention, the boy crop would have been very light.
Even now the philosopher is led to ask, regarding the boasted freedom of America, why some measures are not taken to put large fly-screens over it.
THE EPISODE OF THE CHARTER OAK.
The Colonies of Maine and New Hampshire were so closely associated with that of Massachusetts that their history up to 1820 was practically the same.
Shortly after the landing of the Pilgrims, say two years or thereabouts, Gorges and Mason obtained from England the grant of a large tract lying between the Merrimac and Kennebec Rivers. This patent was afterwards dissolved, Mason taking what is now New Hampshire, and Gorges taking Maine. He afterwards sold the State to Massachusetts for six thousand dollars. The growth of the State may be noticed since that time, for one county cost more than that last November.
In 1820 Maine was separated from Massachusetts. Maine is noted for being the easternmost State in the Union, and has been utilized by a number of eminent men as a birthplace. White-birch spools for thread, Christmas-trees, and tamarack and spruce-gum are found in great abundance. It is the home of an industrious and peace-loving people. Bar Harbor is a cool place to go to in summer-time and violate the liquor law of the State.
The Dutch were first to claim Connecticut. They built a trading-post at Hartford, where they swapped bone collar-buttons with the Indians for beaver-and otter-skins. Traders from Plymouth who went up the river were threatened by the Dutch, but they pressed on and established a post at Windsor.
In 1635, John Steele led a company "out west" to Hartford, and Thomas Hooker, a clergyman, followed with his congregation, driving their stock before them. Hartford thus had quite a boom quite early in the seventeenth century. The Dutch were driven out of the Connecticut Valley, and began to look towards New York.
Soon after this the Pequod War broke out. These Indians had hoped to form an alliance with the Narragansetts, but Roger Williams prevented this by seeing the Narragansett chief personally. Thus the Puritans had coals of fire heaped on their heads by their gentle pastor, until the odor of burning hair could be detected as far away as New Haven.
The Pequods were thus compelled to fight alone, and Captain Mason by a coup d'etat surrounded their camp before daylight and entered the palisades with the Indian picket, who cried out "Owanux! Owanux!" meaning "Englishmen. Englishmen." Mason and his men killed these Pequods and burned their lodges to the ground. There has never been a prosperous Pequod lodge since. Those who escaped to the forest were shot down like jack-rabbits as they fled, and there has been no Pequoding done since that time.
The New Haven Colony was founded in 1638 by wealthy church members from abroad. They took the Bible as their standard and statute. They had no other law. Only church members could vote, which was different from the arrangements in New York City in after-years.
The Connecticut Colony had a regular constitution, said to have been the first written constitution ever adopted by the people, framed for the people by the people. It was at once prosperous, and soon bought out the Saybrook Colony.
In 1662 a royal charter was obtained which united the two above colonies and guaranteed to the people the rights agreed upon by them. It amounted to a duly-authenticated independence. A quarter of a century afterwards Governor Andros, in his other clothes and a reigning coat of red and gold trimmings, marched into the Assembly and demanded this precious charter.
A long debate ensued, and, according to tradition, while the members of the Assembly stood around the table taking a farewell look at the charter, one of the largest members of the house fell on the governor's breast and wept so copiously on his shirt-frill that harsh words were used by his Excellency; a general quarrel ensued, the lights went out, and when they were relighted the charter was gone.
Captain Wadsworth had taken it and concealed it in a hollow tree, since called the Charter Oak. After Andros was ejected from the Boston office, the charter was brought out again, and business under it was resumed.
Important documents, however, should not be, as a general thing, secreted in trees. The author once tried this while young, and when engaged to, or hoping to become engaged to, a dear one whose pa was a singularly coarse man and who hated a young man who came as a lover at his daughter's feet with nothing but a good education and his great big manly heart. He wanted a son-in-law with a brewery; and so he bribed the boys of the neighborhood to break up a secret correspondence between the two young people and bring the mail to him. This was the cause of many a heart-ache, and finally the marriage of the sweet young lady to a brewer who was mortgaged so deeply that he wandered off somewhere and never returned. Years afterwards the brewery needed repairs, and one of the large vats was found to contain all of the missing man that would not assimilate with the beer,—viz., his watch. Quite a number of people at that time quit the use of beer, and the author gave his hand in marriage to a wealthy young lady who was attracted by his gallantry and fresh young beauty.
Roger Williams now settled at Providence Plantation, where he was joined by Mrs. Hutchinson, who also believed that the church and state should not be united, but that the state should protect the church and that neither should undertake to boss the other. It was also held that religious qualifications should not be required of political aspirants, also that no man should be required to whittle his soul into a shape to fit the religious auger-hole of another.
This was the beginning of Rhode Island. She desired at once to join the New England Colony, but was refused, as she had no charter. Plymouth claimed also to have jurisdiction over Rhode Island. This was very much like Plymouth.
Having banished Roger Williams and Mrs. Hutchinson to be skinned by the Pequods and Narragansetts over at Narragansett Pier, they went on about their business, flogging Quakers, also ducking old women who had lumbago, and burning other women who would not answer affirmatively when asked, "Be you a witch?"
Then when Roger began to make improvements and draw the attention of Eastern capital to Rhode Island and to organize a State or Colony with a charter, Plymouth said, "Hold on, Roger: religiously we have cast you out, to live on wild strawberries, clams, and Indians, but from a mercantile and political point of view you will please notice that we have a string which you will notice is attached to your wages and discoveries."
Afterwards, however, Roger Williams obtained the necessary funds from admiring friends with which to go to England and obtain a charter which united the Colonies yet gave to all the first official right to liberty of conscience ever granted in Europe or America. Prior to that a man's conscience had a brass collar on it with the royal arms engraved thereon, and was kept picketed out in the king's grounds. The owner could go and look at it on Sundays, but he never had the use of it.
With the advent of freedom of political opinion, the individual use of the conscience has become popularized, and the time is coming when it will grow to a great size under our wise institutions and fostering skies. Instead of turning over our consciences to the safety deposit company of a great political party or religious organization and taking the key in our pocket, let us have individual charge of this useful little instrument and be able finally to answer for its growth or decay.
* * * * *
The author wishes to extend his thanks for the use of books of reference used in the collection of the foregoing facts; among them, "How to Pay Expenses though Single," by a Social Leper, "How to Keep Well," by Methuselah, "Humor of Early Days," by Job, "Dangers of the Deep," by Noah, "General Peacefulness and Repose of the Dead Indian," by General Nelson A. Miles, "Gulliver's Travels," and "Life and Public Services of the James Boys."
THE DISCOVERY OF NEW YORK.
The author will now refer to the discovery of the Hudson River and the town of New York via Fort Lee and the 125th Street Ferry.
New York was afterwards sold for twenty-four dollars,—the whole island. When I think of this I go into my family gallery, which I also use as a swear room, and tell those ancestors of mine what I think of them. Where were they when New York was sold for twenty-four dollars? Were they having their portraits painted by Landseer, or their deposition taken by Jeffreys, or having their Little Lord Fauntleroy clothes made?
Do not encourage them to believe that they will escape me in future years. Some of them died unregenerate, and are now, I am told, in a country where they may possibly be damned; and I will attend to the others personally.
Twenty-four dollars for New York! Why, my Croton-water tax on one house and lot with fifty feet four and one-fourth inches front is fifty-nine dollars and no questions asked. Why, you can't get a voter for that now.
Henry—or Hendrik—Hudson was an English navigator, of whose birth and early history nothing is known definitely, hence his name is never mentioned in many of the best homes in New York.
In 1607 he made a voyage in search of the Northwest Passage. In one of his voyages he discovered Cape Cod, and later on the Hudson River.
This was one hundred and seventeen years after Columbus discovered America; which shows that the discovering business was not pushed as it should have been by those who had it in charge.
Hudson went up the river as far as Albany, but, finding no one there whom he knew, he hastened back as far as 209th Street West, and anchored.
He discovered Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait, and made other journeys by water, though aquatting was then in its infancy. Afterwards his sailors became mutinous, and set Hendrik and his son, with seven infirm sailors, afloat.
Ah! Whom have we here? (See next page.)
It is Hendrik Hudson, who discovered the Hudson River.
Here he has just landed at the foot of 209th Street, New York, where he offered the Indians liquor, but they refused.
How 209th Street has changed!
The artist has been fortunate in getting the expression of the Indians in the act of refusing. Mr. Hudson's great reputation lies in the fact that he discovered the river which bears his name; but the thinking mind will at once regard the discovery of an Indian who does not drink as far more wonderful.
Some historians say that this especial delegation was swept away afterward by a pestilence, whilst others commenting on the incident maintain that Hudson lied.
It is the only historical question regarding America not fully settled by this book.
Nothing more was heard of him till he turned up in a thinking part in "Rip Van Winkle."
Many claims regarding the discovery of various parts of the United States had been previously made. The Cabots had discovered Labrador, the Spaniards the southern part of the United States; the Norsemen had discovered Minneapolis, and Columbus had discovered San Salvador and gone home to meet a ninety-day note due in Palos for the use of the Pinta, which he had hired by the hour.
But we are speaking of the discovery of New York.
About this time a solitary horseman might have been seen at West 209th Street, clothed in a little brief authority, and looking out to the west as he petulantly spoke in the Tammany dialect, then in the language of the blank-verse Indian. He began, "Another day of anxiety has passed, and yet we have not been discovered! The Great Spirit tells me in the thunder of the surf and the roaring cataract of the Harlem that within a week we will be discovered for the first time."
As he stands there aboard of his horse, one sees that he is a chief in every respect and in life's great drama would naturally occupy the middle of the stage. It was at this moment that Hudson slipped down the river from Albany past Fort Lee, and, dropping a nickel in the slot at 125th Street, weighed his anchor at that place. As soon as he had landed and discovered the city, he was approached by the chief, who said, "We gates. I am one of the committee to show you our little town. I suppose you have a power of attorney, of course, for discovering us?"
"Yes," said Hudson. "As Columbus used to say when he discovered San Salvador, 'I do it by the right vested in me by my sovereigns.' 'That oversizes my pile by a sovereign and a half,' says one of the natives; and so, if you have not heard it, there is a good thing for one of your dinner-speeches here."
"Very good," said the chief, as they jogged down-town on a swift Sixth Avenue elevated train towards the wigwams on 14th Street, and going at the rate of four miles an hour. "We do not care especially who discovers us, so long as we hold control of the city organization. How about that, Hank?"
"That will be satisfactory," said Mr. Hudson, taking a package of imported cheese and eating it, so that they could have the car to themselves.
"We will take the departments, such as Police, Street-Cleaning, etc., etc., etc., while you and Columbus get your pictures on the currency and have your graves mussed up on anniversaries. We get the two-moment horses and the country chateaux on the Bronx. Sabe?"
"That is, you do not care whose portrait is on the currency," said Hudson, "so you get the currency."
Said the man, "That is the sense of the meeting."
Thus was New York discovered via Albany and Fort Lee, and five minutes after the two touched glasses, the brim of the schoppin and the Manhattan cocktail tinkled together, and New York was inaugurated.
Obtaining a gentle and philanthropical gentleman who knew too well the city by gas-light, they saw the town so thoroughly that nearly every building in the morning wore a bright red sign which read—
BEWARE OF PAINT.
Regarding the question as to who has the right to claim the priority of discovery of New York, I unite with one of the ablest historians now living in stating that I do not know.
Here and there throughout the work of all great historians who are frank and honest, chapter after chapter of information like this will burst forth upon the eye of the surprised and delighted reader.
Society at the time of the discovery of the blank-verse Indian of America was crude. Hudson's arrival, of course, among older citizens soon called out those who desired his acquaintance, but he noticed that club life was not what it has since become, especially Indian club life.
He found a nation whose regular job was war and whose religion was the ever-present prayer that they might eat the heart of their enemy plain.
The Indian High School and Young Ladies' Seminary captured by Columbus, as shown in the pictures of his arrival at home and his presentation to the royal pair one hundred and seventeen years before this, it is said, brought a royal flush to the face of King Ferdie, who had been well brought up.
This can be readily understood when we remember that the Indian wore at court a court plaster, a parlor-lamp-shade in stormy weather, made of lawn grass, or a surcingle of front teeth.
They were shown also in all these paintings as graceful and beautiful in figure; but in those days when the Pocahontas girls went barefooted till the age of eighty-nine years, chewed tobacco, kept Lent all winter and then ate a brace of middle-aged men for Easter, the figure must have been affected by this irregularity of meals.
Unless the Pocahontas of the present day has fallen off sadly in her carriage and beauty, to be saved from death by her, as Smith was, and feel that she therefore had a claim on him, must have given one nervous prostration, paresis, and insomnia.
The Indian and the white race never really united or amalgamated outside of Canada. The Indian has always held aloof from us, and even as late as Sitting Bull's time that noted cavalry officer said to the author that the white people who simply came over in the Mayflower could not marry into his family on that ground. He wanted to know why they had to come over in the Mayflower.
"We were here," said the aged warrior, as he stole a bacon-rind which I used for lubricating my saw, and ate it thoughtfully, "we were here and helped Adam 'round up' and brand his animals. We are an old family, and never did manual labor. We are just as poor and proud and indolent as those who are of noble blood. We know we are of noble blood because we have to take sarsaparilla all the time. We claim to come by direct descent from Job, of whom the inspired writer says,—
"Old Job he was a fine young lad, Sing Glory hallelujah. His heart was good, but his blood was bad, Sing Glory hallelujah."
[Footnote 3: This is a stanza from the works of Dempster Winterbottom Woodworth, M.D., of Ellsworth, Pierce County, Wisconsin, author of the "Diary of Judge Pierce," and "Life and Times of Melancthon Klingensmith." The thanks of the author are also due to Baldy Sowers for a loaned copy of "How to Keep up a Pleasing Correspondence without Conveying Information," 8vo, bevelled boards, published by Public Printer.]
THE DUTCH AT NEW AMSTERDAM.
Soon after the discovery of the Hudson, Dutch ships began to visit that region, to traffic in furs with the Indians. Some huts were erected by these traders on Manhattan Island in 1613, and a trading-post was established in 1615. Relics of these times are frequently turned up yet on Broadway while putting in new pipes, or taking out old pipes, or repairing other pipes, or laying plans for yet other pipes, or looking in the earth to see that the original pipes have not been taken away.
Afterwards the West India Company obtained a grant of New Netherland, and New Amsterdam was fairly started. In 1626, Minuit, the first governor, arrived, and, as we have stated, purchased the entire city of New York of the Indians for twenty-four dollars.
Then trouble sprang up between the Dutch and the Swedes on the Delaware over the possession of Manhattan, and when the two tribes got to conversing with each other over their rights, using the mother-tongue on both sides, it reminded one of the Chicago wheat market when business is good. The English on the Connecticut also saw that Manhattan was going to boom as soon as the Indians could be got farther west, and that property would be high there.
Peter Stuyvesant was the last Dutch governor of New York. He was a relative of mine. He disliked the English very much. They annoyed him with their democratic ideas and made his life a perfect hell to him. He would be sorry to see the way our folks have since begun to imitate the English. I can almost see him rising in his grave to note how the Stuyvesants in full cry pursue the affrighted anise-seed bag, or with their coaching outfits go tooling along 'cross country, stopping at the inns on the way and unlimbering their portable bath-tubs to check them with the "clark."
Pete, you did well to die early. You would not have been happy here now.
While Governor Stuyvesant was in hot water with the English, the Swedes, and the Indians, a fleet anchored in the harbor and demanded the surrender of the place in the name of the Duke of York, who wished to use it for a game preserve. After a hot fight with his council, some of whom were willing even then to submit to English rule and hoped that the fleet might have two or three suits of tweed which by mistake were a fit and therefore useless to the owners, and that they might succeed in swapping furs for these, the governor yielded, and in 1664 New York became a British possession, named as above.
The English governors, however, were not popular. They were mostly political hacks who were pests at home and banished to New York, where the noise of the streets soon drove them to drink. For nine years this sort of thing went on, until one day a Dutch fleet anchored near the Staten Island brewery and in the evening took the town.
However, in the year following, peace was restored between England and Holland, and New Amsterdam became New York again, also subject to the Tammany rule.
Andros was governor for a time, but was a sort of pompous tomtit, with a short breath and a large aquiline opinion of himself. He was one of the arrogant old pie-plants whose growth was fostered by the beetle-bellied administration at home. He went back on board the City of Rome one day, and did not return.
New York had a gleam of hope for civil freedom under the rule of the Duke of York and the county Democracy, but when the duke became James II. he was just like other people who get a raise of salary, and refused to be privately entertained by the self-made ancestry of the American.
He was proud and arrogant to a degree. He forbade legislation, and stopped his paper. New York was at this time annexed to the New England Colony, and began keeping the Sabbath so vigorously that the angels had great difficulty in getting at it.
Nicholson, who was the lieutenant tool of iniquity for Andros, fled with him when democracy got too hot for them. Captain Leisler, supported by Steve Brodie and everything south of the Harlem, but bitterly opposed by the aristocracy, who were distinguished by their ability to use new goods in making their children's clothes, whereas the democracy had to make vests for the boys from the cast-off trousers of their fathers, governed the province until Governor Sloughter arrived.
Sloughter was another imported Smearkase in official life, and arrested Leisler at the request of an aristocrat who drove a pair of bang-tail horses up and down Nassau Street on pleasant afternoons and was afterwards collector of the port. Having arrested Leisler for treason, the governor was a little timid about executing him, for he had never really killed a man in his life, and he hated the sight of blood; so Leisler's enemies got the governor to take dinner with them, and mixed his rum, so that when he got ready to speak, his remarks were somewhat heterogeneous, and before he went home he had signed a warrant for Leisler's immediate execution.
When he awoke in the morning at his beautiful home on Whitehall Street, the sun was gayly glinting the choppy waves of Buttermilk Channel, and by his watch, which had run down, he saw that it was one o'clock, but whether it was one o'clock A.M. or P.M. he did not know, nor whether it was next Saturday or Tuesday before last. Oh, how he must have felt!
His room was dark, the gas having gone out to get better air. He attempted to rise, but a chill, a throb, a groan, and back he lay hastily on the bed just as it was on the point of escaping him. Suddenly a thought came to him. It was not a great thought, but it was such a thought as comes to those who have been thoughtless. He called for a blackamoor slave from abroad who did chores for him, and ordered a bottle of cooking brandy, then some club soda he had brought from London with him. Next he drank a celery-glass of it, and after that he felt better. He then drank another.
"Keep out of the way of this bed, Julius," he said. "It is coming around that way again. Step to one side, Julius, please, and let the bed walk around and stretch its legs. I never saw a bed spread itself so," he continued, seeming to enjoy his own Lancashire humor. "All night I seemed to feel a great pain creeping over me, Julius," he said, hesitatingly, again filling his celery-glass, "but I see now that it was a counterpane."
Eighty years after that, Sloughter was a corpse.
We should learn from this not to be too hasty in selecting our birthplaces. Had he been born in America, he might have been alive yet.
From this on the struggles of the people up to the time of the Revolution were enough to mortify the reader almost to death. I will not go over them again. It was the history of all the other Colonies; poor, proud, with large masses of children clustering about, and Indians lurking in the out-buildings. The mother-country was negligent, and even cruel. Her political offscourings were sent to rule the people. The cranberry-crops soured on the vines, and times were very scarce.
It was during this period that Captain William Kidd, a New York ship-master and anti-snapper from Mulberry Street, was sent out to overtake and punish a few of the innumerable pirates who then infested the high seas.
Studying first the character, life, and public services of the immoral pirate, and being perfectly foot-loose, his wife having eloped with her family physician, he determined to take a little whirl at the business himself, hoping thereby to escape the noise and heat of New York and obtain a livelihood while life lasted which would maintain him the remainder of his days unless death overtook him.
Dropping off at Boston one day to secure a supply of tobacco, he was captured while watching the vast number of street-cars on Washington Street. He was taken to England, where he was tried and ultimately hanged. His sudden and sickening death did much to discourage an American youth of great brilliancy who had up to 1868 intended to be a pirate, but who, stumbling across the "Life and Times of Captain Kidd, and his Awful Death," changed his whole course and became one of the ablest historians of the age in which he lived.
This should teach us to read the papers instead of loaning them to people who do not subscribe.
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Since the above was written, the account of the death of Governor Andros is flashed across the wires to us. Verbum sap. Also In hoc signo vinces.
The author wishes to express by this means his grateful acknowledgments to his friends and the public generally for the great turn-out and general sympathy bestowed upon his relative, the late Peter B. Stuyvesant, on the sad occasion of his funeral, which was said to be one of the best attended and most successful funerals before the war. Should any of his friends be caught in the same fix, the author will not only cheerfully turn out himself, but send all hands from his place that can be spared, also a six-seated wagon and a side-bar buggy.
SETTLEMENT OF THE MIDDLE STATES.
The present State of New Jersey was a part of New Netherland, and the Dutch had a trading-post at Bergen as early as 1618. After New Netherland passed into the hands of the Dutch, the Duke of York gave the land lying between the Hudson and the Delaware to Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret for Christmas.
The first permanent English settlement made in the State was at Elizabethtown, named so in honor of Sir George's first wife.
Berkeley sold his part to some English Quakers. This part was called West Jersey. He claimed that it was too far from town. It was very hard for a lord to clear up land, and Berkeley missed his evenings at the Savage Club, and his nose yearned for a good whiff of real old Rotten Row fog.
So many disputes arose regarding the title to Jersey that the whole thing finally reverted to the crown in 1702. When there was any trouble over titles in those days it was always settled by letting it revert to the crown. It has been some years now, however, since that has happened in this country.
Thirty-six years later New Jersey was set apart as a separate royal province, and became a railroad terminus and bathing-place.
Delaware was settled by the Swedes at Wilmington first, and called New Sweden. I am surprised that the Norsemen, who it is claimed made the first and least expensive summer at Newport, R. I., should not have clung to it.
They could have made a good investment, and in a few years would have been strong enough to wipe out the Brooklyn police.
The Swedes, too, had a good foothold in New York, Jersey, and Delaware, also a start in Pennsylvania. But the two nations seemed to yearn for home, and as soon as boats began to run regularly to Stockholm and Christiania, they returned. In later years they discovered Minneapolis and Stillwater.
William Penn now loomed up on the horizon. He was an English Quaker who had been expelled from Oxford and jugged in Cork also for his religious belief. He was the son of Admiral Sir William Penn, and had a good record. He believed that elocutionary prayer was unnecessary, and that the acoustics of heaven were such that the vilest sinner with no voice-culture could be heard in the remotest portion of the gallery.
The only thing that has been said against Penn with any sort of semblance of truth was that he had some influence with James II. The Duke of York also stood in with Penn, and used to go about in England bailing William out whenever he was jailed on account of his religious belief.
Penn was quite a writer (see Appendix). He was the author of "No Cross, No Crown," "Innocency with her Open Face," and "The Great Cause of Liberty of Conscience."
From his father he had inherited a claim against the government for sixteen thousand pounds, probably arrears of pension. He finally received the State of Pennsylvania as payment of the claim. The western boundary took in the Cliff House and Seal Rocks of San Francisco.
Penn came to America in 1682 and bought his land over again from the Indians. It is not strange that he got the best terms he could out of the Indians, but still it is claimed that they were satisfied, therefore he did not cheat them.
The Indian, as will be noticed by reading these pages thoughtfully, was never a Napoleon of finance. He is that way down to the present day. If you watch him carefully and notice his ways, you can dicker with him to better advantage than you can with Russell Sage.
Take the Indian just before breakfast after two or three nights of debauchery, and offer him a jug of absinthe with a horned toad in it for his pony and saddle, and you will get them. Even in his more sober and thoughtful moments you can swap a suit of red medicated flannels with him for a farm.
Penn gathered about him many different kinds of people, with various sorts and shades of belief. Some were Free-Will and some were Hard-Shell, some were High-Church and reminded one of a Masonic Lodge working at 32 deg., while others were Low-Church and omitted crossing themselves frequently while putting down a new carpet in the chancel.
But he was too well known at court, and suspected of knowledge of and participation in some of the questionable acts of King James, so that after the latter's dethronement, and an intimation that Penn had communicated with the exiled monarch, Penn was deprived of his title to Pennsylvania, for which he had twice paid.
Penn was a constant sufferer at the hands of his associates, who sought to injure him in every way. He rounded out a life of suffering by marrying the second time in 1695.
In 1708 he was on the verge of bankruptcy, owing to the villany and mismanagement of his agent, and was thrown into Fleet Street Prison, a jail in which he had never before been confined. His health gave way afterwards, and this remarkable man died July 30, 1718.
Philadelphia was founded in 1683 and work begun on a beautiful building known as the City Hall. Work has steadily progressed on this building from time to time since then, and at this writing it is so near completion as to give promise of being one of the most perfect architectural jobs ever done by the hand of man.
In two years Philadelphia had sprung from a wilderness, where the rank thistle nodded in the wind, to a town of over two thousand people, exclusive of Indians not taxed. In three years it had gained more than New York had in fifty years. This was due to the fact that the people who came to Philadelphia had nothing to fear but the Indians, while settlers in New York had not only the Indians to defend themselves against, but the police also.
Penn and his followers established the great law that no one who believed in Almighty God should be molested in his religious belief. Even the Indians liked Penn, and when the nights were cold they would come and crawl into his bed and sleep with him all night and not kill him at all. The Great Chief of the Tribes, even, did not feel above this, and the two used frequently to lie and talk for hours, Penn doing the talking and the chief doing the lying.
It is said that, with all the Indian massacres and long wars between the red men and the white, no drop of Quaker blood was ever shed. I quote this from an historian who is much older than I, and with whom I do not wish to have any controversy.
After Penn's death his heirs ran the Colony up to 1779, when they disposed of it for five hundred thousand dollars or thereabouts, and the State became the proprietor.
The seventeenth century must have been a very disagreeable period for people who professed religion, for America from Newfoundland to Florida was dotted with little settlements almost entirely made up of people who had escaped from England to secure religious freedom at the risk of their lives.
In 1634 the first settlement was made by young Lord Baltimore, whose people, the Catholics, were fleeing from England to obtain freedom to worship God as they believed to be right. Thus the Catholics were added to the list of religious refugees,—viz., the Huguenots, the Puritans, the Walloons, the Quakers, the Presbyterians, the Whigs, and the Menthol Healers.
Terra Mariae, or Maryland, was granted to Lord Baltimore, as the successor of his father, who had begun before his death the movement for settling his people in America. The charter gave to all freemen a voice in making the laws. Among the first laws passed was one giving to every human being upon payment of poll-tax the right to worship freely according to the dictates of his own conscience. America thus became the refuge for those who had any peculiarity of religious belief, until to-day no doubt more varieties of religion may be found here than almost anywhere else in the world.
In 1635 the Virginia Colony and Lord Baltimore had some words over the boundaries between the Jamestown and Maryland Colonies. Clayborne was the Jamestown man who made the most trouble. He had started a couple of town sites on the Maryland tract, plotted them, and sold lots to Yorkshire tenderfeet, and so when Lord Baltimore claimed the lands Clayborne attacked him, and there was a running skirmish for several years, till at last the Rebellion collapsed in 1645 and Clayborne fled.
The Protestants now held the best hand, and outvoted the Catholics, so up to 1691 there was a never-dying fight between the two, which must have been entertaining to the unregenerate outsider who was taxed to pay for a double set of legislators. This fight between the Catholics and Protestants shows that intolerance is not confined to a monarchy.
In 1715 the fourth Lord Baltimore recovered the government by the aid of the police, and religious toleration was restored. Maryland remained under this system of government until the Revolution, which will be referred to later on in the most thrilling set of original pictures and word-paintings that the reader has ever met with.
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QUESTIONS FOR EXAMINATION.
Q. Who was William Penn?
A. He founded Pennsylvania.
Q. Was he a great fighter?
A. No. He was a peaceable man, and did not believe in killing men or fighting.
Q. Would he have fought for a purse of forty thousand dollars?
A. No. He could do better buying coal lands of the Indians.
Q. What is religious freedom?
A. It is the art of giving intolerance a little more room.
Q. Who was Lord Baltimore?
A. See foregoing chapter.
Q. What do you understand by rebellion?
A. It is an unsuccessful attempt by armed subjects to overcome the parent government.
Q. Is it right or wrong?
A. I do not know, but will go and inquire.
THE EARLY ARISTOCRACY.
Lord Clarendon and several other noblemen in 1663 obtained from Charles II. a grant of lands lying south of Virginia which they called Carolina in honor of the king, whose name was not really Carolina. Possibly that was his middle name, however, or his name in Latin.
The Albemarle Colony was first on the ground. Then there was a Carteret Colony in 1670. They "removed the ancient groves covered with yellow jessamine" on the Ashley, and began to build on the present site of Charleston.
The historian remarks that the growth of this Colony was rapid from the first. The Dutch, dissatisfied with the way matters were conducted in New York, and worn out when shopping by the ennui and impudence of the salesladies, came to Charleston in large numbers, and the Huguenots in Charleston found a hearty Southern welcome, and did their trading there altogether.
We now pass on to speak of the Grand Model which was set up as a five-cent aristocracy by Lord Shaftesbury and the great philosopher John Locke. The canebrakes and swamps of the wild and snake-infested jungles of the wilderness were to be divided into vast estates, over which were proprietors with hereditary titles and outing flannels.
This scheme recognized no rights of self-government whatever, and denied the very freedom which the people came there in search of. So there were murmurings among those people who had not brought their finger-bowls and equerries with them.
In short, aristocracy did not do well on this soil. Baronial castles, with hot and cold water in them, were often neglected, because the colonists would not forsake their own lands to the thistle and blue-nosed brier in order to come and cook victuals for the baronial castles or sweep out the baronial halls and wax the baronial floors for a journeyman juke who ate custard pie with a knife and drank tea from his saucer through a King Charles moustache.
Thus the aristocracy was forced to close its doors, and the arms of Lord Shaftesbury were so humiliated that he could no longer put up his dukes (see Appendix).
There had also been a great deal of friction between the Albemarle or Carteret and the Charleston set, the former being from Virginia, while the latter was, as we have seen, a little given to kindergarten aristocracy and ofttimes tripped up on their parade swords while at the plough. Of course outside of this were the plebeian people, or copperas-culottes, who did the work; but Lord Shaftesbury for some time, as we have seen, lived in a baronial shed and had his arms worked on the left breast of his nighty.
So these two Colonies finally became separate States in the Union, though there is yet something of the same feeling between the people. Wealthy people come to the mountains of North Carolina from South Carolina for the cool summer breezes of the Old North State, and have to pay two dollars per breeze even up to the past summer.
Thus there was constant irritation and disgust up to 1729 at least, regarding taxes, rents, and rights, until, as the historian says, "the discouraged Proprietors ceded their rights to the crown."
It will be noticed that the crown was well ceded by this time, and the poet's remark seems at this time far grander and more apropos than any language of the writer could be: so it is given here,—viz., "Uneasy lies the head that wears a seedy crown." (See Appendix.)
The year of Washington's birth, viz., 1732, witnessed the birth of the baby colony of Georgia. James Oglethorpe, a kind-hearted man, with a wig that fooled more than one poor child of the forest, conceived the idea of founding a refuge for Englishmen who could not pay up. The laws were very arbitrary then, and harsh to a degree. Many were imprisoned then in England for debt, but those who visit London now will notice that they are at liberty.
Oglethorpe was an officer and a gentleman, and this scheme showed his generous nature and philanthropic disposition. George II. granted him in trust for the poor a tract of land called, in honor of the king, Georgie, which has recently been changed to Georgia. The enterprise prospered remarkably, and generous and charitable people aided it in every possible way. People who had not been able for years to pay their debts came to Georgia and bought large tracts of land or began merchandising with the Indians. Thousands of acres of rich cotton-lands were exchanged by the Indians for orders on the store, they giving warranty deeds to same, reserving only the rights of piscary and massacre.